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Crack Monitors - For the monitoring of cracks in buildings and civil engineering structures.

Most buildings crack at some time during their service life. Usually the cracks are of little consequence but they may be the first indication of a serious defect. Monitoring the changes in crack width across a crack helps determine the cause of cracking and what remedial work should be specified.

Crack monitor in use

So Why Monitor?

Cracks often appear in buildings and civil engineering structures.  It is usually a symptom of distress within the materials used in the construction. Sometimes the cracks are of little significance and are easily repaired. Other times the cracks are the first sign of a serious defect which may affect the functioning or stability of the building. 

Monitoring the changes in the width of the cracks over a period of time helps to diagnose the cause and severity of the crack.. 

There are two important reasons cracks need to be monitored when they’re detected:

1. Cracks can indicate serious defects that threaten a structure’s stability

Although most cracks don’t raise major concerns, some most definitely do.  Cracks can be major red flags that indicate a serious defect within the fabric of the building––one of the first signs of a more serious problem that needs to be addressed. 

2. Cracks that go ignored can devalue a property regardless of the threat they pose

In addition to very real safety concerns, the mere appearance of cracked walls and other surfaces can devalue a building and affect its insurability, not to mention open the door for lawsuits in more extreme situations. 

With this in mind, having the ability to assess and continuously monitor cracks when they appear is crucial.  To do this, engineers need a rigid methodology as well as tools capable of highly accurate measurements.

Initial inspection and surveying with crack gauges 

The first step to crack monitoring is an obvious one: locating the cracks. But proper inspection is more than simply finding them. It’s also important to note any patterns that appear in the cracks, the construction materials used around them, and the age of the cracks if you can determine it.  

With a rough conceptual model to work with, the next step is surveying the cracks’ present conditions using a Crack Width Gauge.